Can marriage be saved? Why, it's saved every day, the good old-fashioned way, by divorce and adultery. A woman I know, single, 50-ish and by chance or design long involved with married men, says:
"The fact is a lot of us are single and the longer we insist on that the smaller the pool becomes of single interesting men. Now, the boxes lined up conventionally for someone like me are celibacy, computer dating, husband-hunting, broken heart. No thank you. So I see these men, and let's just say we engage in a free love. I don't expect them to leave their wives. I want their interest and their care, intimately, mentally, and I offer them the same. They go home to their wives. I don't know what they say or do about that, and it's not my business. They love their wives, or need them, or need their families, or need the image of themselves that comes along with twenty-five years of marriage or whatever even if love is dead, and maybe it was never alive in the first place. Or maybe it's good, but how much can it give? Life demands a lot, you know, and sometimes a person just needs to be weak. Or just needs, wants, a different kind of loving. We act as if comfort were evil - and curiosity, God forbid! For the time that I'm with these men I know something deep and loving occurs. Apart from everything else, I am their intimate friend. We're talking years here. The Dr. Phils of the world would say that I'm a fool. The gay men I know get it completely. The women mostly I don't discuss this with. It isn't perfect, but nothing is. And I'd be lying to say I never want for more. In the pie-in-the-sky there's always the 'great love,' the soul mate and comrade and lover combined. It's a wish; it happens or it doesn't, and, let's face it, most of the time it doesn't. But we live in a tyranny of the couple. Only single people understand this. And I guess what I resent most is the assumption that there is only one way for love, and if you haven't found it, or if your man 'strays' or if you are the one he's 'straying' with, then you've failed. I don't think these guys' wives have failed anymore than I think the men have or I have. The supposed experts on love can hawk all the stuff they want about commitment, denial, avoidance, and people can lap it up and repeat it back to their single friends and their children. But at the end of the day there're all these broken marriages, all these broken hearts, all these needs unmet. The rules for love everlasting are a bit like the rules for making it in the opportunity society, where really nothing is equal and nothing is fair."
- JoAnn Wypijewski in The Nation